Ben Salem Wayside
The most popular and prominent waterway in Rockbridge County is the Maury River, the carver of Goshen Pass, a water sports highway, an outstanding fishery, and a thriving habitat.
Ben Salem Wayside is one of the most popular access points on the river, and the shallow depths make it a favorite for wading anglers.
Once called “the North Fork of the James,” the Maury River runs from its headwaters above Goshen Pass through Lexington and down to the confluence with the James River in Glasgow. Ben Salem Wayside provides easy wading access to productive waters for bass, panfish, and carp. The deeper sections adjacent to the park shorelines are popular places to cast a line, and easy wading upstream from the park offers more shoreline and mid-stream habitat to anglers. Smallmouth bass and panfish are the most common targets in this section, however anglers can also target large carp in this section. The Maury River is stocked 9 times October - May.
From the Lexington Visitor Center, drive east on Washington Street to a left at the stoplight onto East Nelson Street / E. Midland Trail (US-60). Continue four miles, crossing Interstate 81, until you see parking areas on the left side of the road. Look for the Ben Salem Wayside signs.
- The ease of access to the Maury River makes it the most kid-friendly fishing opportunity in Rockbridge County.
- Ben Salem Wayside is one of the most popular access points on the river, and the shallow depths make it a favorite for wading anglers.
- Picnic areas are available at Ben Salem Wayside. Source your lunch locally at Foothill Mama’s BBQ Juke Joint or Pure Eats, and craft beers from Washington Street Purveyors.
- Try your hand at geocaching! The Gems of Rockbridge Geocaching Trail includes the Ben Salem Lock cache, hidden at the Wayside. Ben Salem Lock is one of the best preserved of its kind and was one of several locks that comprised the North River Navigation, allowing canal boats and batteaux to reach the James River.